On Paulinho’s return to the Chinese Super League giants, it was another Brazilian debutant that stole the limelight.
Two sublime left footed efforts from outside the area plus a perfectly timed glancing header made it a debut to remember for Anderson Talisca as his hat-trick helped defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande climb up to fourth.
There’s a new boy in town. Talisca celebrates his third – Via kralspor.ensonhaber.com
The Brazilian, who opted for the red of The Tigers rather than the red of Manchester United, completed his triple with an inch-perfect freekick into the top right corner. Festus Biase was adjudged to have illegally brought down Ricardo Goulart five yards outside the area, allowing the 24 year old to complete a perfect debut.
Talisca’s second was perhaps even better, as Gao Lin back-healed a pass to the former Beşiktaş man who curled home an absolute screamer past a Zhang Sipeng.
Whilst Talisca netted three superb goals, none were as spectacular as Gao Lin’s opener against the league’s bottom side.
Talisca this time turned provider for Chinese veteran Gao Lin. A wayward attempt from Talisca found its way to Lin who spectacularly bicycle-kicked the ball past Sipeng and in to the far corner. An extraordinary goal in an extraordinary performance for the home side; a finish that will surely be a contender for goal of the season.
Olha que coisa linda essa bicicleta do Gao Lin. Golaço. pic.twitter.com/7bXMnwYd5u
— China BR Futebol (@chinaBRfutebol) 18 July 2018
An outrageous effort from the 32 year old
In a game in which the home side were playing exhibition football, chances were few and far between for the visitors. Ex La Liga winner Mario Suarez headed Zheng Kaimu’s cross straight at a welcoming Zeng Cheng.
A minute later, Suarez was made to rue his miss as Talisca nodded in Yu Hangchao’s inviting corner to claim the first of his three and in truth kill the game off at 2-0.
Talisca, who swapped the Turkish Süper Lig for the Chinese Super League was simply unpayable for the entirety of the match. Whilst the spotlight was on Paulinho to deliver on his return to the Tianhe Sports Centre Stadium, it was his compatriot who stole the limelight with a superb hat-trick and assist.
Used to playing in a cauldron atmosphere at the Vodafone Park in Istanbul, the playmaker looked at home inside the Tianhe Stadium where the home side’s support was magnificent.
Being out of both cup competitions and faltering in their defence of the Super League, manager Fabio Cannavaro needed some fresh impetus and creativity to potentially spark a run that would give them a realistic chance of preventing the title going elsewhere. He called the Brazilian’s performance ‘magical’.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Canton outfit though, as Zhe Wang showed substitute Zhong Yihao a straight red card for leading with the studs in a challenge. Wang had initially shown the youngster a yellow card; however after deliberation with VAR, the referee rightly upgraded Yihao’s punishment to red.
The suspension could spell trouble for the home-side as they make the tough trip to highfliers Shanghai SIPG on Saturday, a game in which The Tigers need to realistically win to have any real chance of retaining their title.
The result leaves Guizhou Hengfeng looking doomed. Already seven points from safety, new boss Dan Petrescu faces a perilous task as he aims to help his side avoid the drop. Hengfeng won’t have to travel far for their next fixture, where they face fellow Guangzhou side R&F.
Hengfeng will simply have to be more adventurous and creative next time out, as they were limited to only one other major chance after Suarez’s miscued header. Striker Bubacarr Trawally latched on to a terrible back-pass and rounded the keeper, only to see his shot somehow diverted on to the post and away by Xuepeng Li; the left back determined to preserve the home side’s clean sheet.